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Parents back lessons to tackle gender-based bullying

Support comes after report finds 90% of LGBT young people experienced homophobia at school.

Discrimination: 27% of young LGBT students have attempted suicide (file pic).
Discrimination: 27% of young LGBT students have attempted suicide (file pic). PA

School lessons aimed at tackling gender-based bullying have been backed by a national parent group.

The National Parent Forum Scotland (NPFS) has given its support to Time for Inclusive Education (TIE), which is lobbying for new legislation to ensure schools proactively tackle discrimination.

Last year, the campaign published a report which found 90% of LGBT young people experienced homophobia at school while 27% reported they had attempted suicide due to being bullied.

Forum chairwoman Joanna Murphy said: "The NPFS believes that an education system that is inclusive and free of prejudice is a right that every single pupil should enjoy, and so we are pleased to announce that we are supporting the TIE campaign, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in our schools.

"We owe it to our young people to have an open and frank discussion around these issues in our schools, and we hope that this also encourages parents and parent councils to continue this discussion."

The Scottish Government launched a national working group in April to take forward TIE's proposals, which includes teacher training and LGBT inclusivity in the curriculum.

NPFS works with national and local government to improve the educational experiences of young people.

It joins several organisations in supporting TIE, including Scouts Scotland and the Educational Institute of Scotland.

TIE co-founder Liam Stevenson said: "As a parent myself, I know that we can play a crucial role in tackling prejudicial behaviours amongst young people and, throughout our work, we have spoken to many parents who wish to see an end to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in our schools.

"Indeed, most parents are surprised that in 2017 an education which is inclusive of diverse relationships, family types and identities is not already in place.

"The endorsement of the NPFS further solidifies parental support. We look forward to continuing to work with the NPFS in order to ensure that all schools are LGBT-inclusive."

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